Springfield, MO

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Mo. Insurance Department offers homeowners' guide

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For those seeking the best deal on

homeowners insurance or other coverages, one resource is the Missouri Department of Insurance web site at

According to a release from the Department of Insurance, the web site provides a variety of information resources, including:

?Department complaint guides, which for the first time provide electronic versions of popular department publications on the complaint rates of high-volume auto, homeowners, life, accident, and health and HMO insurers.

?Shopping guides on rates that leading insurers charge for auto, homeowners, mobile home and renters insurance for selected ZIP Codes across Missouri.

?Department news releases chronicling important agency announcements.

?Summaries of disciplinary action taken against agents, brokers, other licensed individuals and insurance companies. Also listed are insurers with recently completed exams, including condensed findings in market-conduct reports.

?Missouri Department of Insurance phone numbers and hot lines, including the toll-free consumer hot line at 800-726-7390.

?Answers to frequently asked consumer questions.

?Statistical reports for consumer and industry use.

"On the Internet, we are attempting to build a solid starting point for Missouri consumers as they begin evaluating and buying personal lines policies," said Jay Angoff, director of the Department of Insurance.

On the homeowners' side, the Consumers Guide to Homeowners and Renters Insurance features premium guides for comprehensive homeowners, mobile home and renters coverage in 58 communities across the state.

The state's high-volume insurers provided the prices, effective July 1, 1997, in response to a department survey. There are a total of 220 companies offering homeowners insurance in Missouri.

There are four versions of each guide, each version dedicated to a particular region of the state. The Springfield region publication includes Springfield, West Plains, Branson, Nixa, Nevada and Osage Beach.

All homeowners rates are based on $500 deductibles and assigned fire protection classes, which can have a substantial effect on rates, the department stated.

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